UC Davis Undergraduate Industrial and Lighting Design

Peter Ngai Winter 2015 Lighting Design Banner

Classes will be led by Professor Michael Siminovitch

DES 136A: Lighting Technology and Design

Students interested in interior design will build a lighting vocabulary and a fundamental understanding of lighting technologies. Students will take a hands-on approach in the course which includes lectures, demonstrations, and site visits. 

Topics will include:

  • Lighting & vision fundamentals
  • Color & vision
  • Lighting sources & the production of light
  • Fixture technologies for creating & controlling light
  • Daylighting & interiors
  • Special projects & fixture design

DES 136B: Designing with Light—Industrial Design

This course introduces students to LEDs, next-generation lighting sources, and fixture design. The class includes an annual competition where students design, develop, and create prototypes of fully working LED-based luminaires. The class will be focused on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology as part of this year’s luminaire design challenge. A panel including Siminovitch, design professionals, and representatives of the competition's sponsors will evaluate the designs and select the top three.

The course involves a laboratory exploration with the goal of developing a fully working LED-based fixture design prototype. Students are given a LED source and are required to design a fixture for it. Students explore multiple solutions and are evaluated based on objective indicators, aesthetic considerations, manufacturability, and cost. The hands-on project allows students to work with a technology poised to change how homes and businesses will be lighted in the near future.

Students are asked to explore a range of lighting applications including:

  • Interior sconces
  • Pendant fixtures
  • Stair lighting systems
  • Exterior path lighting
  • Exterior wall sconces

Students are directed to explore and develop distribution and fixture ideas based on the LED's unique attributes of small size, color and luminance distribution.

  • Two early phases of conceptual development of different lighting ideas
  • Model making and photometric testing
  • Material exploration
  • Applications testing
  • Refined prototype construction
  • Design reviews with industry and design professionals
  • Photographic documentation for student portfolio 

Staff Contact

Michael Siminovitch, Ph.D.

Director; Rosenfeld Chair in Energy Efficiency
(530) 747-3835

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